About Summit

Statement by the Honourable Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin
Deputy Prime Minister Of Malaysia at the First Asian Cooperation Dialogue Summit
Kuwait City, 16 October 2012

 

His Highness Sheikh Sabah AI-Ahmad AI.Jaber AI-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait,,,
Heads of State, Heads of Government of ACD member countries,,,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,,,

Allow me at the outset to extend my highest appreciation for the very kind and generous hospitality that Your Highness has extended to my delegation since our arrival in your wonderful city. I would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to Your Highness and the Government of the State of Kuwait for taking this timely initiative to host the first Summit of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD). I am confident that under Your Highness's able stewardship, this historic gathering would see positive results for Asia. In this regard, I wish to assure your Highness of Malaysia's continued support and cooperation towards the continued success of ACD.

I also wish to take this opportunity to join other delegations in welcoming Afghanistan as the newest member of this gathering. We are positive that Afghanistan would be able to contribute positively to the benefit of this forum and its members. I also wish to place on record our delegation's deepest appreciation to the Kingdom of Thailand for its tireless efforts as the coordinator of ACD since its inception.

Your Highness,,,
Excellencies,,,
Ladies and Gentlemen,,,

In the context of unprecedented political and economic challenges facing the world today, the hosting of this Summit allows us to assess as to whether we are on the right track towards strengthening and enhancing Asian cooperation and unity. I believe we are gathered here to chart a new direction for ACO including having a mechanism that would strengthen ACO so that it would be able to address international issues of concern affecting ACO and its members and project the voice of Asia in the international arena. There is no doubt ACO has provided the much-needed interconnectivity amongst its members while at the same time upholding its core values.

One of the challenges that we are facing today is food security. In addressing food security, not only must food production increase but we must also ensure that farmers get fair returns for their labor. More often than not, farm prices are barely enough for farmers to survive while final consumers pay high prices. There is little correlation between farm prices and final prices as participants along the supply chain capture most of the value. We must therefore continue to improve the efficiency of the supply chain and at the same time expose farmers to modern farming techniques. Efficient gains in the supply chain must translate to higher prices for farmers and lower prices for final consumers. It is a win-win formula and therefore ACD should join others into facilitating global supply chain as well as inverting into domestic logistics infrastructure. In this regard, we must look at best practices available in our countries. For example, the Rural Transformation Centers established in Malaysia acts as a collection point for farmers to bring their produce so that they get better prices.

Your Highness,,,
Excellencies,,,
Ladies and Gentlemen,,,

Another challenge facing us today is the global economic outlook where global confidence continuous to be adversely affected despite the measures being taken to address the Euro zone crisis. In today's increasingly interconnected world, no nation is spared from the negative impact of slower global economic growth and trade. While efforts are being taken to address the Euro zone crisis, restore growth in the US economy and boost growth in developing economies, efforts must also be taken to address the structural issues of fault lines that remain in the global economy. In this context, there must be support for a comprehensive reform of the international financial architecture. This reform should have in place early warning systems and mechanisms to ensure proper coordination and sharing of information so that timely actions can be taken to pre-empt any crisis. There must also be inclusive participation involving relevant stakeholders in actual decision ¬making processes by international financial institutions.

In addressing the above challenges, ACD should consolidate its strength and competitiveness by maximizing its diversity and rich resources while at the same time not forgetting its core values on which it was founded. There is no doubt we have achieved much over the last ten years through the prime movers projects. It is also a fact that many of our economies have developed resilience as a result of the Asian financial crisis. This resilience to a certain extent has helped us to withstand the impact of the current Euro crisis and the recent financial crisis of 2008/2009. There is also no doubt that we are now even more intricately woven into the fabric of world economy and exposed to higher global risks.

As we now grapple with economic, political and security issues, forums like ACD must take on a new significance by helping to foster greater dialogue, compromise in understanding between nations. By doing so, it will help us to address our problems peacefully and provide a platform to share and discuss challenges that may dictate our future. We have a duty to strengthen our common economic goals and the time to do it is now. We must ensure that the challenges we face do not translate into conflicts and confrontation. Hence, it is extremely important that we exercise and promote moderation in everything that we do because Malaysia firmly believes that the challenges we face today are not based on issues like religion but rather the voices of extremism triumphing over the moderate voices. This is why Malaysia is promoting the Global Movement of the Moderates.

Your Highness,,,
Excellencies,,,
Ladies and Gentlemen,,,

Malaysia looks forward to working closely with all the other countries in ACD to chart a new direction that will benefit our peoples. At the same time, Malaysia looks forward to the proposals to be submitted by the experts group meeting and is also ready to provide inputs to the said proposed meeting. Any future direction that we chart for this forum, must ultimately meet the objectives of ACD, one of which is to transform Asian continent into an Asian community, capable of dealing with the world on an equal footing in contributing towards mutual peace and prosperity. My delegation strongly believes it is now time for AGO to transform itself. Yet the transformation cannot be done overnight as AGO is an incremental and evolving process. In charting a new direction for AGD, the transformation process must be an integral component and one possibility is to look at the participation of the private sector in ACO activities.

There is no doubt that the ACD has achieved much but the time has now come to take bold initiatives to strengthen our cooperation. Towards this end, Malaysia welcomes the proposal by the Government of Kuwait to commit financial resources for development projects in Asian countries. Malaysia also welcomes the proposals by the Royal Kingdom of Thailand to strengthen the mechanism for AGO. To complement these proposals, Malaysia would like to offer its expertise in social-economic fields such as poverty eradication, education and youth development through its capacity building programs under the Malaysia Technical Cooperation Programs ( MTCP).

Your Highness,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

On that note, I once again commend Your Highness and the people of Kuwait for an excellent and fruitful Summit. I am confident that through our concerted efforts, ACD will be able to transform itself to provide a brighter future for the people of Asia.

Thank you ,,,

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